Torres column: Dream big and be ambitious with your goals
When I reflect on my life, I see that I always had a reason to wake up. When I was lost, the reason to wake up was very superficial, useless for me, for the community and for my family. I used to wake up for dating, to ride my car, to make more money, to party, to see my friends, to go shopping, to watch my cartoons, to play video games. This was not adding value to anybody. But the truth is that there was always a reason for me to wake up.
You can imagine how difficult my day was. I joined the club of “not another Monday” and “Thank God it’s Friday.” There was no desire or passion toward any of those activities. I was a zombie. Think about it: How fulfilling can it be having a fast car? Or beating the game for the 50th time, or never finding the right girl because the cause was me? Or partying? Or shopping? Or watching cartoons? That was the ecstasy of my life. It’s true that many of these things would help me to wake up and I would find some joy in doing them, but soon it would dissipate, leaving me empty.
I really can’t believe I lived this life until I turned 28. But it is also true I did not know better than that.
Now my life is different. I wake up every day because my goal is to change this world into a better place. The goal is to add value to people’s lives and make them better. Not only that but also to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals and improve the condition of our planet.
I found my real purpose by accident and never completely developed a plan. Each time I reach one goal, I set a higher one. It was not easy to find my purpose, and many people ask me the question of the year, “How can I find my purpose?” I understand that it is not easy and give an answer like, “Doing what you like to do is not enough.” That’s because many people like things that won’t add value to the world. Many people like sex, and I don’t see how sex alone will add value to the world. Other people like cigarettes, and I don’t understand how this can improve someone’s life. Other people like to put harmful chemicals on food, and I don’t see how that improves the world. How about gambling?
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
We are biologically created to help each other. There are two chemicals in the body released naturally that give us the best high: serotonin and oxytocin. Both are released when we help others (nothing like dopamine and endorphins that are released through self-serving acts, not that I’m saying that’s bad). If we want to feel fulfilled and complete, we must work on releasing serotonin and oxytocin.
Serotonin is released by supporting people and helping them achieve a goal. For example, when you help your child with homework and finish the task, there is a feeling of accomplishment by your child not only when the homework is done but when the homework is graded. The child feels proud of your help, giving you credit, and you feel proud for helping.
Oxytocin is released when we help other people just because we can. When you listen to a needy person or help the old lady cross the street or help someone change a flat tire, both of you get a shot of oxytocin.
These are the only unselfish ways to get these important chemicals. This is very important, because you will only feel truly fulfilled when you know you are helping others. You will enjoy your day when you know you are changing and helping other people’s lives in a positive way. Not only will you enjoy it, it feels so good that you become addicted to the good task.
If we add the fact that you like to work with your hands, mind, brain, creating, building, listening, alleviating pain, fixing … you have found your purpose. Whatever you love to do, it should add value to other people’s lives and the world.
This is how I found my purpose. I have become various things: I am a personal trainer, health coach, philanthropist, writer, business marketer, speaker, motivator, mentor and teacher, yet I don’t identify myself as any of them because all I think about is adding value to people and this world.
I wake up not caring about what day it is and get to work because this purpose and these goals are very fulfilling.
I would like to add one more thing: Dreaming big is not a dream. It is your reality. Yes, it might sound ridiculous for you to walk or run 50 miles when you can’t even complete 2 miles. However, as you train and become more familiar with running and achieving your goals, you’ll add more miles to your training. You will see that 50 miles may not sound like too much by the time you are running 30 miles.
The same happens with your goals. Yes, if your goal is to save 10,000 children from human trafficking and abuse, it may sound too difficult, but as you create systems and start saving the first, before you know it, even 20,000 won’t seem difficult.
Gaining your financial freedom is the same way. However, this is only a secondary effect of the purposeful work you are doing. So my point here is to dream big and be ambitious with your goals and purpose. It might seem too far and difficult in the beginning, but it will get easier.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Basalt and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the third Wednesday of the month.
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It may be by a technicality, but the Valley Valkyries 7s rugby club were the de facto champions of their hosted tournament this weekend.